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working vs stay at home

  1. #17
    OX Jess is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Tuen Mun, Hong Kong

    Mcdill: I need to work for very practical financial reason even if I am stuck in a not-much-prospects job. My husband earns more or less the same as me so we simple cannot afford to have 50% family income cut off. Money is not everything but you DO need some...

    MayC: I get worn out just by reading what you have to do on top of looking after your baby. Go and think serious about getting part-time cleaning service, something like coming to your flat 3 times a week. They are not that expensive and they can unload so much household chores off your shoulder. Looking after a baby after work is tiring enough, don't over exhaust yourself or else you will fall ill and won't be able to take a good care of your child.

    I am lucky because my husband is willing to take care of 90% of the daily housework & cooking, which allows me to pay full attention to care for my baby. I am very grateful to him. But now and again he gets tired after work so we will order some takeaways and leave the housework for the next day. No need to stretch yourself to the extreme! If my husband were unable to take care of the housework, I would certainly get a cleaning service!

    Going back to the subject of being a stay-home mum or a full-time working mum. If you are stuck in making a decision between two, I think you can consider the followings:-
    (1) First, be practical and think about your family financial situation. In my situation, as said above, I MUST work. Stay-home mum is not on a possible agenda. So my consideration will then jump to (2) what kind of a job I think suitable. I am lucky (again) to have an employer with easy-going mind, offering lots of flexibility. My job nature allows home-office to a certain extent.
    Then, what you need to consider is your "personality". If you know you won't be happy without a career, then DON"T quit your job. Continue to work or else you will be extremely unhappy and frustrated in a long run. If you are like me, despite having my mother to look after my son I must insist having at least an hour or so every day to play/talk with my son. In that case, a job requiring me to leave home so early and come home so late does not suit me at all. Some women are perfectly ok to leave their baby to a caregiver all day & night. I am not.

    But, don't think being a stay-home mum is easy. If you don't have a family / social network, you may find it hard to get through the day. I have taken a two weeks off from work during the Chinese New Year and spent every minute with my son for two whole weeks. No joking, I was on several occassions on the verge of losing my temper (of course regretted it right afterwards) when I had to deal with a very difficult baby: crying non-stop, refusing all kinds of food/milk, refusing to sleep, wanting to be carried all the time...etc. But I am lucky I have my family here and some friends around to share some ups & downs. If you have no one around, you are literally caged at home all day with a baby, which means you may not have anyone to talk to for all day. This can drive you nuts! I believe, either option has their pros & cons. Good luck with your choice, ladies, I know it's never easy.

  2. #18
    ihave3cats is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Hung Hom

    Hi all,
    I quit my job after I decided to have a baby. I wanted to 'be there' esp the early years. Being a sahm is tough.. My days are boring. Gone are the days when I am so busy I couldn't have lunch, reward myself by buying things I like.. sometimes I look at my friends and I wonder if quitting my job then was worthed it, and imagined where I would be if I had stayed on. Of cos on good days with my children, I would feel it's the right choice. On days when they are so unreasonable, I would feel differently.

    My major projects now are cooking, cleaning, taking care of children and grocery shopping. Without a helper, it's really quite alot to do.. But i feel empty. I begin to feel that my world is no longer relevant. One day, I realized my conversation with my husband was about comparing grocery prices between supermarkets..can u imagine his boredom?! I graduated with honours, now I am doing this job!

    I guess there are no perfect solution to this. Women have to bear the consequences of childbirth- either stay at home, enjoy the kids and wonder what else you could have done with your life. Or, work, and feel guilty about not spending enough time with kids.

  3. #19
    AmyH is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Gold Coast

    Either decision you make will be very tough. Throughout my career I have done both. I am now a stay at home mum with two children. It was not an easy decision to make as I loved my job but in the end I had to choose the one that made my feel less guilty.

    I am very lucky that we are in a financial position where I can choose to stay at home while the children are young, and as my husband's job requires him to travel a lot the children have the stabililty of knowing that I will be here for every bed time etc.

    I look forward to returning to work some time in the future but for now I consider this to be the best job for me.

  4. #20
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    sorry, guys... for those of you "slaving away" being a SAHM and hating it, all because you feel guilty if you work...

    don't you think it is better for your children to see a happy, well adjusted mother, who is self-sufficient and fulfilled in what she chooses to do than a bored, resentful woman who hates staying at home and feels useless???

    no matter what you do, you will feel guilty. personally, i think it is FAR better for children to grow up with the former rather than the latter.

    (if you are happy and fulfilled staying at home, good for you! this is not a slam against you, rather directed at the women staying home because they feel they 'HAVE TO' whether it be because their husband, society, family or she herself thinks it necessary.)

  5. #21
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    North Point

    I'm "mostly" happy and fulfilled as a SAHM. Sometimes I like the idea of working part time, I may look into that after our 2nd one is born and we get a helper... I'm not particularly "careersy" though... but I do want to be employable because I know that if anything happened to my husband, I'd need to be able to be the breadwinner.

  6. #22
    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    you should definitely stay at home because you WANT to stay at home, not because you are forced to by other pressures or because someone else has told you you HAVE to stay at home. I know that it is often not black and white and if you decide to stay at home, you will definitely miss some aspects of your work. But what you decide on should ultimately be the choice that does make you happier than the other choice. Otherwise, it's just a disaster waiting to happen and at some point, you will start getting resentful and your kids will feel it.

    I also don't think there is anything LESS challenging being a SAHM than going to work. Sure, the challenges are different, but the "work" in a way is often just as hard and more often than not, the SAHM gets bigger personal rewards (obviously not financial rewards, but if you can afford it, the personal rewards are better I think).

  7. #23
    baffelly is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    I believe there are plenty of reasons for anyone to feel unhappy or guity whether you are working or staying at home. Perhaps it is easier to not feel bad if one is working simply because you are making money - a way of showing that you are being appreciated. It is a tough decision but o ce you have decided(or have no choice), either way, you need to remind yourself of the positive aspects all the time. And I think it is important to feel appreciated and hence validating that your work is useful, be it nice encouraging words from husband or friends, or salary if you have a paid job.
    I agree very much that staying home is often boring-could be busy physically but still boring. My solution so far is to start some projects that is not baby related and doing them when baby does not need your attention. Eg. Investment plan, researching a topic, making recipe book, etc. This would create a good conversation topic with husband too.
    Grass seems greener on the other side, but it helps to remind yourself the bad things on the other side too. Like if you are staying home, that you don't have to deal with unreasonable boss, play office politics, pretend to be nice to clients etc.
    I believe one have to put in the effort to make youself happy. Keep a positive attitude and do not be affected by others' negative comments.

  8. #24
    new in town is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    hong kong

    personally, i think SAHM is a 24x7 job, so i don't have any guilt at all staying at home looking after my children. you can't put a price tag on the love and the security you give them. my mom was a SAHM and i never had to bring keys when i go to school (she's always home when i come back from school) and her help is always a phone call away when i was at school. i had home cooked meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. while growing up, i didn't know this is precious. but looking back, i really want to give my children the same experience growing up. my opportunity cost of staying home is quite substantial and i'm compromising my career to stay at home. however, i have no regrets. if i work now, i'd lost all the opportunity i have to watch them grow and i wouldn't trade it with anything else.

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